“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. I am the bread of life… Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:35, 48-51).
The manna God sent to daily feed the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years was miraculous provision, yet this amazing food could only nourish their physical bodies. It couldn’t fill their souls or give them eternal life. Only Jesus can do that. He is our bread from heaven.
I’ve often found myself reaching for food when I wasn’t physically hungry. Have you? I’d want to put something in my mouth to feed a hunger of a different kind.
Loneliness, boredom, distraction, anger, sadness, emptiness and guilt are some of the things which have driven us to food. Yet food cannot satisfy emotional hunger or alleviate suffering. The food may seem to fill us, but that’s only a physical sensation (I’d often stuff myself until I was numb emotionally, but hurting physically).
Question: Have you ever eaten past the point of feeling “full”? How did you feel afterwards?
For years I didn’t have a “full signal.” I didn’t really know when to stop. It was frightening sometimes. I avoided social gatherings where there was food because I knew I couldn’t control myself. Oh, I could put on a good show and act like I was a dainty little eater for a while, but I knew I’d eat more than this 5′2″ body needed to eat.
I began using food to numb emotional pain when I was six years old. For the next 25 years, I battled with compulsive overeating and all the emotional turmoil that goes with it.
After coming to Christ, I continued to fight with overeating—even though the Lord delivered me from alcoholism and smoking. Why was this issue with food so tough?
In John 6:51 Jesus said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
How can we “eat” non-physical food?
We can consume spiritual food (the living bread, the flesh and blood of Christ) by feasting on the Word of God with our eyes, lips and ears. Proverbs 18:20 tells us that our stomach can be made full by the fruit (words) of our lips.
“A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.”
While physical eating satisfies physical hunger, spiritually feasting on the Word of the living God feeds our spirits and satisfies the hunger of our souls (mind, will and emotions).
If we feel our needs are not being met emotionally, we look for other things to fill that void. Some enter into unhealthy relationships; others become caught in an addiction to a substance (such as food, alcohol or drugs) or behaviors such as gambling, compulsive spending, or trying to control others through fear or threat of moods.
No Human Relationship or Thing Can Give You What You Need Emotionally
Perhaps the reason our emotional selves are so hard to feed is that people and things of this world cannot truly nourish this part of us. Only Christ can feed the human heart and soul.
Okay, it makes sense that spiritually feeding on Christ can bring spiritual health, but why turn to Christ to meet our emotional needs, too?
BECAUSE: TAKING from others can never truly satisfy us.
Only PARTAKING OF CHRIST and GIVING to others can do that.
God wants me to love others as I love myself. However, if I haven’t been feeding on Christ I don’t feel full of His love on the inside of me. I don’t feel “lovely” or worthy of love. I may be self-critical and even hate myself. Feeling unloved, I’m unable to love unconditionally and will try to compensate by “filling” myself in other ways and exhibit various controlling behaviors to “make” people love me.
By feeding on the Word (reading, meditating, speaking the Word aloud, and doing what you read in the Bible) daily, He will fill you. You will feel FULL!
Remember what Jesus said about the type of peace He gives, “Not as the world gives do I give to you.” He gives from the inside where His Holy Spirit dwells.
Feed on these words today from John 6:35, “And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. I am the bread of life.”
Right now ask Him to fill you. Don’t try to figure out in your head what that means. Simply ask the Lord to fill you with His goodness.
In Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays that the Lord’s followers will “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Come to Jesus and be filled.